Why Victoria Beckham’s latest fashion show was ‘a flag in the sand’ at one point

Written by Nick Remsen, CNN

With her second Paris Fashion Week show behind her, Victoria Beckham looks set to usher in an exciting new era for her eponymous label, nearly 15 years since its launch.

“I’m more into fashion than music,” Beckham said, introspectively, in a phone call from London days after the Fall-Winter 2023 show in the French capital.

Still known to many outside the fashion world as ‘Posh Spice’, her nickname as one-fifth of the Spice Girls, she is a mainstay celebrity gossip site, with famous husband David Beckham and all and more famous children: Brooklyn, who married actor Nicola Peltz in a high-profile wedding last year, Romeo, Cruise and Harper.

However, Beckham’s brand, launched in 2008, has been warmly endorsed by the upper echelons of the fashion industry (Anna Wintour is a regular guest at its shows).

Having appeared regularly during New York and London fashion weeks before making her debut at Paris Fashion Week last September, she is certainly no novice to fashion and her label has long been synonymous with a sexy and refined aesthetic – not too far from sharp minis and sleek. silhouettes that were so integral to the Posh Spice look, though now rendered in a decidedly more grown-up, glamorous way.

It’s remarkable that her fashion line has been around this long. While Beckham has received critical acclaim in her tenure, it’s rare for celebrities without formal design training to succeed. Even Rihanna’s ready-to-wear line, Fenty, backed by luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy, closed after two years (though, it should be noted, Rihanna’s eponymous beauty brand is thriving).

Eva Longoria, Nicola Peltz Beckham, Brooklyn Beckham, Cruz Beckham, Edward Enninful, Harper Beckham, David Beckham and Anna Wintour attend the Victoria Beckham FW23 show during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Darren Gerrish/WireImage for Victoria Beckham

Despite its longevity, the commercial viability of Beckham’s operation has often been questioned – although it appears business may be on the rise after all. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Victoria Beckham Holdings Limited, which is the central entity between Beckham’s fashion and beauty businesses, reported profitability for the first time for the 2022 financial year. In January, the brand’s CEO Marie LeBlanc said also in Business of Fashion that sales have grown by double digits over the past four seasons.

“I think now I can really, really start building,” Beckham said while reflecting on those milestones.

Beckham’s company has recently undergone a complete restructuring on both the business and creative side — from improved back-end IT and digital design systems to cutting prices (slightly) to a “new design team, new atelier and new members in every department, if you like,” he said.

A look from Victoria Beckham FW23.

A look from Victoria Beckham FW23. Credit: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

While she has made many changes, Beckham’s commitment to quality control has long been unwavering: “I never want to rush anything. I think, ultimately, it has to be right. I never want to compromise,” she explained.

Her work doesn’t look trendy, and it doesn’t work with flash or ephemera (perhaps defying expectations set by her Spice Girls persona). Her clothes combine fantasy with a distinct reality: an Autumn-Winter 2023 look, for example, featured a layered dress accented with chiffon and feathers styled with a practical khaki trench. And, very importantly, there is no actual Victoria Beckham logo or mark, other than her font.

That’s not to say her brand is without signature pieces. Beckham’s ‘watch chain’ accessories, which feature a bold, reflective accent reminiscent of a watch band, are proving popular. “It’s inspired by a strap detail on a watch my husband bought me,” Beckham said. “A vintage Patek Philippe.”

Metalwork is front and center on bags in nano to jumbo sizes, along with select shoes and jewelry. Carriers have caught on. From the new collection, the extra large sizes are already sold out on pre-orders. And Beckham seems to have found a fan in, perhaps, an unexpected market indicator: her son, Cruz, who wore a chain-tone “Eva” crossbody bag with monogrammed Victoria Beckham jeans to his mother’s presentation.

“It’s funny because Cruise called me on the way to the show and said, ‘Mom, can I borrow your glasses?’ And I said, “yes, of course you can borrow my glasses.” And then she said, ‘Yeah, and I just found this bag in your closet,'” Beckham said with a laugh. “It was interesting that an 18-year-old boy would be drawn to it and say ‘I want to wear it’.”

Could this mean menswear is on the horizon? “That would be a dream. Not yet. But I’m always inspired by menswear — you see it in the couture,” Beckham said.

Models take their final walk in Victoria Beckham FW23.

Models take their final walk in Victoria Beckham FW23. Credit: Action Press/Shutterstock

While menswear may not be launching anytime soon, she launched an exclusive makeup and skincare brand, Victoria Beckham Beauty, in 2019. And most recently, she launched VB Body, a “permanent capsule collection” of knits, skirts and shapewear inspired jumpsuits – slimming dresses. These pieces are part of the overall Victoria Beckham line, but are sold at a lower price.

“VB Body was an idea I had when I was spending a lot of time in Miami,” Beckham said. She and her husband maintain a home in Florida City. David is a partner in Inter Miami, the American soccer team. “I find the way women dress there quite liberating in how they like to show off their bodies and celebrate who they are. I think there’s a real confidence in that.”

Since moving her show to Paris last year, Beckham has seen an uptick in editorial and the red carpet. For Fall-Winter 2023, he recruited Drew Barrymore for social media teasers around the collection, a nod to the cult documentary and film “Grey Gardens” (Barrymore starred in the latter). “The story doesn’t inspire me in a literal sense, necessarily,” says Beckham. “It’s more in the sense of how we can have fun with clothes.”

Victoria Beckham backstage at her FW23 show.

Victoria Beckham backstage at her FW23 show. Credit: Action Press/Shutterstock

This kind of energy is fresh. There is a new wind in Beckham’s sails. She herself looks more optimistic and this is also reflected in her own styling. “I always wore black,” she said. “And then, I don’t know exactly what changed or what happened, but I rarely wear black these days. I like to wear color and I like to wear unexpected colors together.” (The unique use of colors and pairings is another feature in Beckham’s brand codes.)

What principles, other than Victoria Beckham’s aesthetic, have helped her stay the course? “Years and years ago,” Beckham states, “(fashion designer) Roland Mouret, who was my mentor early on, said ‘no matter what everybody says or what anybody tells you is the right thing, in the end, you “We have to go with what you think is right.”

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.” And, with that, she adds, “There’s so much I want to do with my brand, fashion-wise and beauty-wise. And, like I said, now, I really think I can start building. It was to get the business back on track, which we did. And we have a fantastic design team. We have a pretty well-oiled machine.”

“Everything I do is rooted in reality,” he concluded. “But, it wasn’t the dream compromise.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *